Priscilla Mizell (Priscilla on QT) has signed with agent Kristin Miller-Vincent of D4EO Literary Agency.
The new project was born from an Illustration Friday prompt for the word, “Launch.” I sketched and collaged a series of illustrations depicting a penguin admiring, soaring to, and sleeping on the moon. I am still developing the story, but it will star this character and feature an attempted launch to the moon.
Find a critique group that will both challenge and support you. My craft has greatly improved since I joined mine in January 2011.
Become a member of SCBWI. If you’re also an illustrator, participate in the Illustration Friday challenges.
Learn as much as you can about the publishing industry. I particularly recommend reading KidLit.com, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Jennifer Represents, and Editorial Anonymous. The archives take awhile to go through but they are absolutely worth your time.
Attend and participate in WriteOnCon. When a Ninja Agent approved my concept and query, it gave me the motivation I needed to finish the dummy and the courage to submit again.
Make sure your query has some personality. My previous queries were accurate enough but didn’t reveal the “voice” of the tale. Adding the voice made all the difference in increasing my request rates.
Take your time when researching and querying agents. As I wrote before, the Literary Rambles blog is a great place to start.
Of course, QueryTracker is excellent for keeping track of your submissions. And the stats and community can help you keep from losing your mind when you’re waiting.
Finally, be realistic with your goals and expectations. Believe that you are good enough. But don’t use that as an excuse to stop growing.
Dear Ms. Miller:
Ridley’s best friend is Ninja, and boy is he useful. Forget your lunch? Zoom! Bag in hand. Bullies afoot? Poof! Problem solved. Time for bed? Wash, brush, pajamas! Without a doubt, Ninja is a handy friend to have around. But sometimes even ninjas need a bit of help
THANK YOU, NINJA! is a picture book with a friendship hook that will karate chop your funny bone. You can find the full manuscript of 80 words pasted below as well as a link to my illustration portfolio. A dummy is available on request.
I hold a Master of Arts degree in Children’s Literature from Kansas State University where I specialized in the critical and creative study of picture books. By day, I am a product manager for an educational publishing company. By night, I am a cut paper warrior, in endless pursuit of materials for my next collage. I am also a member of SCBWI.
I am writing to you because of the reputation of your agency and your interest in character-driven picture books from author-illustrators. I have also enjoyed the glimpse into your personality on Twitter. Please note that this is a multiple submission.
Thank you for your time and consideration!
Illustration Portfolio: http://www.priscillamizell.carbonmade.com
[Picture Book Text]